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RUMOR: Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore a surprising potential trade candidate at the deadline

Stephon Gilmore, Bill Belichick, Patriots, NFL trade deadline

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore could be on the trading block one season after winning the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.

“If you’re not going to compete for a championship … you have to look to see what you can get for someone like Stephon Gilmore,” Breer said on NBC Sports Boston. “Because I think chances are he’s not going to be on the team in 2021.”

Gilmore, 30, has one year left on his contract that comes with a cap hit of $16.4 million, none of which is guaranteed.

“They had to move some money from ’21 to ’20 to make him happy this year. He’ll want another raise next year,” Breer noted. “So I think when they did make that move to move that money up to ’20, it was an acknowledgement that might not be around next year.”

However, Gilmore’s trade value may not be as high as Patriots fans might hope. Breer pointed out that the past 10 players to be dealt for first-round picks have been 27 or younger.

“The question then becomes what you’re willing to take for him, because I don’t think it’s going to be a first-round pick,” Breer said. “But if you’re willing to move him for a second or a third, I think there could be a market out there for him.”

The Patriots (2-4) sit in third place in the AFC East, 2.5 games behind the Buffalo Bills (5-2).

New England ranks 25th in overall defensive DVOA and passing defense through six games, per Football Outsiders—a steep decline from their top-ranked defense in 2019.

The Patriots reportedly explored trading the veteran defensive back during the summer, who is in his ninth NFL season and fourth in New England.

“They have talked about the idea of trading Stephon Gilmore,” Breer added. “They were in contact with other teams on this in March and April and then again in August. So before he got his ‘raise,’ — the moving the money from ’21 to ’20 — they absolutely did have conversations with other teams about dealing Stephon Gilmore.”

Gilmore has one interception on the season, in Week 1. Last year, he picked off a career-high six passes.